Heroes and other characters in Philippine history, just like ordinary people, have their own love stories. In this season of love, let us now look back on the bitter-sweet relationships they've gone through – their unique beginnings and tragic ending. The proof that love does not end with simple goodbyes.
The Supremo and the Lakambini
When Gregoria de Jesus was eighteen years old, men began courting her, although in a secluded manner, among whom was Andres Bonifacio, the thirty-year-old Supremo of the Katipunan. Without Oriang's prior knowledge, Andres had already informed her parents of his romantic intentions and had been trying to win their approval for a year. It was about three months later that Oriang finally fell in love to the brave mason, however, it was also the time when he learned that her father was against Andres, particularly because he was a freemason (who was then considered enemy of the society).
Despite this, the two pursue their love for each other. In deference to her parents' request, Andres and Oriang were wed in Roman Catholic rites at the Binondo Church in March 1893 with Restituto Javier and wife Benita de Javier as sponsors. A week after, by request of the Katipuneros, the two were married again before all the freemasons, in a house at Oroquieta Street, followed by a fine dine attended by Pio Valenzuela, Santiago Turiano, Roman Basa, and other dignitaries. That same evening, together with Marina Dizon, Josefa and Trinidad Rizal, Angelica Lopez, Delfina Herbosa and Benita Rodriguez, Oriang was admitted in the women's circle of the Katipunan where she assumed the symbolic name Lakambini.
Andres and Oriang were gifted with one child (whom they named Andres), however, died of small pox at an early age, after their family left their burned-down house on Holy Week of 1896.
Silang: Side by Side
No one would ever realize that the two would find comfort and affection in each other's arms – not even at the middle of, figuratively, the battlefield.
Maria Josefa Gabriela Cariño, at the age of 20, was adopted by a wealthy businessman by the name of Tomas Millan. For three years of marriage, they were not blessed with a child, and the old Millan soon died. Diego Silang, was as well orphaned at an early age and had worked as a messenger for a local Castilian priest in Vigan, Ilocos Sur
They were at their mid-20s when they finally met each other. Gabriela, was then 26, while Diego was 27. Soon, the two married each other, and together, fought against Spanish supremacy and dictatorship – particularly on the matters of forcible tax and the tributary system. Because of the principles she learned from Diego, Gabriela, out of her own free-will, joined her husband's revolutionary group. When Diego waged war against the Spanish authorities, Gabriela was side-by-side with him – she even played as the rebel leader's most influential adviser. Unfortunately for the leader, he was killed and Gabriela brought back to life what Diego had started. With what left of Diego's fiery men, she assembled them and continued the struggle of the Ilocanos.
Gabriela was endlessly being followed by Spanish army men, and in an encounter on 10 September 1763 in Vigan, Gabriela and her men were defeated by the Spanish who overwhelmingly outnumbered them. The young Filipina revolutionary leader was caught, with eight of her men, were hanged in Vigan's Plaza on the following month, and were brutally beheaded. Until her last breath, Gabriela did not loss her dedication and loyalty to what her husband Diego was earnestly fighting for – for freedom.
Luna's Antipodal-Love turned Tragedy
Inevitably, nobody can ever resist the charm and natural elegance of the darling daughter of the Pardo de Taveras of Paris – Maria Paz, or “Chiching,” to those dear to her. Many young men would be smitten by her and among the brave indios who fell deeply in love with this lovely lady was Juan Luna, the renowned Filipino genius of the arts at that time. Luna was a direct contradiction to the splendid personality of Chiching – a dark-skinned Filipino expatriate, comparatively short, lacked manners and, to his brother-in-law Trinidad Pardo De Tavera's own words, “a fiercely jealous Malayan.”
Luna diligently courted Maria Paz, who, after two years of being delighted with the sweet words and romantic artistry of the indio, finally agreed to marry him. In five years time, the two had a secured family gifted with two children – Maria de la Paz and Andres – and was financially supported by his mother-in-law, Juliana Pardo de Tavera. Tragedy started to strike the Luna-Pardo de Tavera family in 1892 when in March, their daughter died, and Luna learned of his father's death in the Philippines on September 1891. Maria Paz and Andres became sickly, thus left for Mont Dore to be treated. Through a constant correspondence with Chiching, Luna learned of a certain Monsier Dussaq whom her wife spoke highly of. This started Luna's jealous rage and paranoia that his wife was having an illicit affair with the Frenchman.
Maria Paz's brothers, Trinidad and Felix confronted her regarding the issue which their sister firmly denied. The Pardo de Tavera brothers and Luna arranged a duel challenging Dussaq, who refused it anyway. To reconcile the supposed liaison and the raging Luna, Dussaq was forced to sign a sworn declaration of his innocence which Luna denied to accept.
On 23 September 1892, the day of their departure for Vigo, Portugal, the Luna-Pardo de Tavera family was surprised by Trinidad, Felix, his mother-in-law, and Antonio Regidor who demanded legal separation for the couple. The surprise visit from the Pardo de Taveras was said to have inflamed what was left of Luna's ego. Chiching and her mother locked themselves up in the bathroom with Luna screaming for them to come out. Luna saw Felix approaching them from the gate and shot him right away. His next two shots were directed to his mother-in-law, and the last one, to his dearly beloved Chiching. Despite the crime he committed, on 8 February 1893, Luna was acquitted and was ordered to pay the Pardo de Taveras a sum of one thousand six hundred fifty-one francs and eighty-three cents, and an additional twenty-five francs for postage in addition to the interest of damages.
- Manuel, Arsenio. Dictionary of Philippine Biography, Volume II. Manila: Regal Printing Company, 1970.
- Mga Tala ng Aking Buhay at Mga Ulat ng Katipunan ni Gregoria de Jesus (Full-Text) by Filipiniana.net
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- Diego Silang – Likas na Matapang. (accessed on 02 February 2008).
- Torn and frayed in Manila – The Spoliarium: great painting, decent opera, nasty man. (accessed on 4 February 2008).
- La Vida Lawyer – Love is Greater than Justice. (accessed on 4 February 2008).